A Georgia man faces a charge of wire fraud after federal prosecutors say he spent over $57,000 he received from COVID-19 relief funds on something not for his business – a Pokémon card.
Vinath Oudomsine , of Dublin, falsely applied for money from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans – designed to help small businesses experiencing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic – on July 14, 2020, according to court documents.
He claimed he was the sole owner of a business that brought in $235,000 in a 12-month span and had 10 employees. On Aug. 4, 2020, he received a deposit of $85,000 into his bank account.
Roughly five months later on or around January 8, prosecutors said Oudomsine spent $57,789 of funds deposited to help his business on a Pokémon card. The card was not described in court documents, and rare Pokémon cards can be worth hundreds of thousands.
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Oudomsine faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted. His defense lawyers declined a USA TODAY request for comment.
This isn’t the first report of someone falsely obtaining COVID relief funds and spending the money lavishly.
Last month, “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star Maurice Fayne, also known as Arkansas Mo, was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison for charges involving a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan application.
Prosecutors said he spent money supposed to be used to retain workers for his business on past due child support, $85,000 on custom jewelry and $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: [email protected]